We talk to James from Choice Care’s Quality Team who tells us all about the fantastic Expert Quality Auditors here at Choice.
Tell us about the role of Expert Quality Auditor at Choice Care, James
We currently have 10 Expert Quality Auditors (EQAs) who work across Choice Care. Our EQAs are ‘Experts by experience’ and carry out regular inspections of our homes and provide their views. In line with CQC who also use experts by experience when inspecting homes and services we felt it was important to get the views of residents from our homes about the environment and care provided throughout Choice. All of the auditors in the team live within a Choice Care home.
Sounds brilliant! Tell us why you created this role?
We created the role so we could get a view of our homes through the eyes of people we support. It’s worked really well. We started the Expert Quality Auditor roles back in 2015 with 6 auditors – we now have 10 EQAs who do a brilliant job! We put together the audits so that the EQAs can complete visits and identify positive aspects as well as areas they feel can be improved for the residents living in the homes.
The EQA is a paid role, with the auditors getting paid per audit they complete.
What happens in an audit?
Our EQAs travel to the home they are auditing with someone from their home to accompany them. They carry out a review using a range of questions– talking to residents and staff and collecting their impressions of the home.
Auditors normally complete audits in the same region that they live to make it easier for travelling, but sometimes they visit other regions so they can see different homes and so the quality team can get a fresh view on services.
The best way to explain the role is to talk to some of our EQAs – so let’s find out more from two of our EQAs:
I have been an Expert Quality Auditor for 7 years. I live in one of Choice Care’s homes in the East Region and complete my audits in the East Region. Currently I complete 1 audit a month.
I really enjoy this role because I get to see how the homes are working for the residents and hope to be an EQA for years to come. My favourite part about this job is meeting residents and talking to them. When completing audits, I get support from staff at my home to take me to the home I am completing my audit in, but I am able to write the report by myself.
Outside of my job I take part in acting and have done some productions as part of a group in the past and I also really like WWE wrestling and have a number of figures which I have recently enjoyed taking photographs of.
I have been an expert quality auditor since November 2022. I live in one of Choice Care’s homes and also complete my audits in the East Region. I complete 1 audit a month and I like going round to see other homes and the job keeps me busy. I really like this role and look forward to completing my audits each month.
I get support from staff to get to the homes to complete my audits. Staff support me throughout my audit and with writing the report. I will tell them what I think for each question and they will write this for me.
And back to James - How are our EQAs supported by Choice Care?
We normally hold one meeting every quarter for all our EQAs. In these meetings auditors feed back about the visits they have completed over the course of the past few months. Actions are taken from these meetings so the Quality Team can always review the EQA process.
We also have a get together at our annual EQA Christmas meal, which we’re all looking forward to!